Obama's Press Conference: A True Chief Executive
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It's possible that I'd just grown accustomed to George W. Bush's press conferences, marked by rambling filibusters, confused responses, and awkward banter. But watching President Obama last night, I couldn't help but notice how pleasant it is to have a chief executive who knows what he's talking about.
Early on, shortly before taking questions, Obama noted, "The strongest democracies flourish from frequent and lively debate, but they endure when people of every background and belief find a way to set aside smaller differences in service of a greater purpose. That's the test facing the United States of America in this winter of our hardship, and it is our duty as leaders and citizens to stay true to that purpose in the weeks and months ahead."
I paused for a moment and thought, did he just say " winter of our hardship"? It was a four-word reminder that we're dealing with a very different kind of president than we're used to.
The LA Times noted, "Again and again in his prime-time news conference Monday, Obama painted his GOP adversaries as well beyond the mainstream." That's true, and it was welcome. The president spent quite a bit of time promoting the merit of the stimulus package, but he also went on the offensive against those trying to tear it down:
Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal . His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."